21st December 2021

The eyes of the blind shall see

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end…

In my mind’s eye I can still picture one Christmas when I was young, standing by the window on a grey Christmas afternoon, staring out into the fading light. All the excitement and the razzmatazz of the time leading up to Christmas Day was over and the day itself was coming to an end. All the presents had been opened, the turkey eaten, the Christmas pudding consumed, and there had even been room for some Christmas cake. Nice though it all was, I was both puzzled and disappointed. There had been songs about angels announcing ‘good news that will cause great joy for all the people’ and ‘peace on earth’. But where was it?

It seemed to me that there had only been a temporary suspension of bad news, and in a few hours, as the gloomy day outside turned to night, and the next day returned to normal, all we would hear about was fighting, quarrels and dissension.

Scattered across the window sill where I was standing there were some of the cards we received, many showing pictures of the nativity. But as you can see, I had no understanding of just who ‘the baby in the manger’ was and the implications of his birth, and, therefore, that it was something to celebrate.

I can stand on Christmas Day this year and in one way nothing will have changed: on the 24th the world will be busy fighting and bickering. There might be a bit of a lull on the 25th, at least in the news, but on the 26th it would be business as usual – fighting and quarrelling again.

However, there will be a difference from that time, long ago. What I didn’t know as a child was that God was going to reveal to me what the birth of Jesus was about. He was going to show me what it meant that he was the Prince of Peace and why it is ‘good news that will cause great joy for all the people’. And that I would one day start on my journey with him, learning to be a peacemaker too. And that now, through the grace of God, I can stand at the window watching the light fade, and echo the opening words of Mary in her response to God’s gift of the Son:

My heart is overflowing with praise of my Lord, my soul is full of joy in God my Saviour. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Study by Hilary Buck


About the writer:
Hilary Buck is a Minister and pastors the Lewes congregation
of Grace Communion International.

Local congregation:
Grace Communion in Lewes
The House of Friendship
208 High Street

Meeting time:
Sunday 11:00am

Local congregational contact:
Hilary Buck
Email: lewes@gracecom.church
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